Professor Arturo Aldama
Associate Professor • Department Chair
Chicanx / Latinx Studies

Office Location: Ketchum 184D

Pronouns: he / him / his



Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley - Ethnic Studies, 1996
M.A., University of California, Berkeley - Ethnic Studies, 1993
B.A., Evergreen State College - English-American Studies, 1988

Research Interests

US/México border studies, immigration; Chicanx popular culture, film, music, performativity, and indigeneity. US Latinx cultural studies, and Latin American subaltern studies, decolonial theories of identity, race, and gender.

Dr. Arturo J. Aldama, born in Mexico City and grew up in Sacramento, California, serves as an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Ethnic Studies at CU Boulder and recently served as Director of CSERA (Center for Studies in Ethnicity and Race in the Americas). He received an MA and PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley in 1996. 

What's New

As we begin the new 2021-2022 academic year with all the difficulties of covid-related issues and the ongoing state, vigilante, and status quo violence(s)—racist/ sexist/ homophobic/xenophobic/ableist/transphobic— directed at BIPoC communities, I wanted to share the following. 

First, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities, The University of Arizona Press, (2020), recently won a prize. We were awarded runner up for best non-fiction by Empowering Latino Futures “International Latino Book Awards” in 2021.

Currently, I, along with Dr. Jessica Ordaz, are working on a new book projected titled: Violence, Migration, and Detention during Trump’s Reign of Terror and Beyond. We are doing a call for 3-page proposals due October 1, 2021. See below for description and focus of the project.

Violence, Migration, and Detention during Trump’s Reign of Terror and Beyond

Although there is a long history and lineage of state violence and immigration enforcement in the United States, the Trump administration (2016-2020) enacted and amplified countless examples of white supremacy in policy, discourse, and practice towards BIPoC and Latinx migrants and refugees. Trump’s “reign of terror” resulted in notable increases in anti-migrant violence, family separation, child abductions, caging of children, border policing, the increased incarceration of Latinx migrants, the sexual and reproductive abuse of migrants, transphobic violence(s), and rhetoric and policies that framed migrants and refugees as criminals, gangsters, and rapists.  

This book seeks interdisciplinary scholarship and artistic responses that consider the impacts of Trump’s immigration and detention policies and the whole scale criminalization of BIPoC migrants indigenous to Abya Yala (The Américas and the Caribbean). We seek work by established leaders and by rising stars from various areas and disciplines including Chicana/o/x, Latina/o/x Studies; Ethnic Studies; Queer, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Latin American Studies; American Studies; Immigration Studies; History; Critical Refugee Studies; Critical Indigeneity’s; Cultural Studies; and Theater, Performance, Fashion, Visual and Communication Studies. We are also interested in work by and about artists who create counter-narratives in visual, performative, and sonic, or multi-modal registers that push back on the demonization of migrants and create other registers of trauma, pain, sadness, hope, solidarity, and abolition. 

The volume will also consider work that addresses nativism, vigilante violence, and the cruelty of border and detention policies before Trump’s reign of terror as well as futurist visions. We are especially interested in considering work that speaks to and challenges white supremacy, toxic masculinities, transphobia, settler colonialism, racial capitalism, empire, global militarism, neoliberalism, transnational histories, indigenous migrations, and queer of color critique. 

Some topics to be addressed may include: 

  • Family separation, unaccompanied minors, and the zero-tolerance policy 
  • Migrant children, trauma, and state violence 
  • Migrant detention centers and refugee camps
  • Immigration enforcement and toxic rape culture 
  • Colonialities of power and border patrol violence 
  • ICE and predatory masculinities, cruelty, internalized racism 
  • Medical and sterilization abuse in migrant detention 
  • The operations of the detention and deportation regime and technologies of power 
  • Migrant incarceration and the carceral state 
  • Abolish ICE, prison abolition, migrant resistance, and transborder solidarities  
  • Migrant deportability and illegality 
  • Migrant death and necropolitics 
  • Biometrics, surveillance, and border security 
  • Border militarization and migrant crossings 
  • ICE raids 
  • Migrant smuggling 
  • The business of migration and Homeland Security 
  • Deportation, drugs, and gangs 
  • Trump’s border wall 

Please submit either a  3-page proposal, a 15–25-page paper draft, or original creative work, and a CV by October 1, 2021 to and

"What's New" updated September 2021

Selected Publications


Aldama, Arturo. Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o, Mexican Immigrant and Native American Struggles for Representation, Duke University Press (Latin American Otherwise Series).

Aldama, Arturo. Violence and the Body:  Race, Gender and the State, Indiana University Press, 2003.

Edited Volumes

Aldama, Arturo J., and Aldama, Frederick Luis, eds. Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities, The University of Arizona Press, 2020.

Aldama, Arturo. Ed, Decolonial Voices: Chicana and Chicano Cultural Studies in the 21st Century, Indiana University Press, 2003.

Aldama, Arturo, Lourdes Gutierrez-Najera, and M. Bianet Castellanos, eds. Comparative Indigeneities of the Americas. Introduction (co-author) and a single author chapter in book, not a reprint on US nativism and criminalization of immigrants. The University of Arizona Press, 2012. Inaugural book in Critical Indigenous Studies.

Aldama, Arturo. Performing the US Latino BorderlandsPrincipal Editor. Indiana University Press (2012).  Introduction and a single chapter will be published in this book.

Refereed Articles

Aldama, Arturo. “Cognition, Fear and Praxis: A Response to Children of Men.: World Narrative Fiction. Austin. UT Press, appeared in print October 30, 2011.

Other Editorial Experience

He served as the popular culture, art and film editor of Encyclopedia of Latina and Latino Popular Culture (Greenwood, 2004), a 400,000 word, multi-volume project that is the first of its kind.

He served as Editor for CU press book, Enduring Legacies: Colorado Ethnic Histories and Cultures (2011).

Special issue, Biopower and Racial Politics in the Arizona Borderlands and beyond. Bad Subjects (UC Berkeley). Lead Editor and contributor. July 2011.

He also served as an associate contributing editor for Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture, and Education. Executive Editor. Gary Keller. Bilingual Review Press, 2003.